The Silence of Architecture by Edmund Sumner

Edmund Sumner harbors the sort of keen eye adept at coaxing new perspectives of color, light, scale and detail within architectural spaces you might have seen several times over – a skill born of patience and curiosity. We witnessed his process in action while traveling together during last year’s Amman Design Week. He’s since curated a selection of personal photos culled from 20 years of shooting architecture and interiors for the likes of Architectural Review, Domus Magazine, and Tadao Ando and Associates intended to transfer some of his personal memories onto the walls of architecture lovers.

The Leaning Man द लीनिंग मैन \\\ A scene taken early one morning in 2016 outside the High Court designed by the Swiss Architect Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, India

Detail of Kengo Kuma’s Lotus house 2006

Sumner’s prints are evocative of those spare and rare moments when architecture is experienced in silence and solitude, inviting thoughts of the interaction between our own senses in relation to scale, surface and light.

Tetsuka House – T てつか ほうせ \\\ A traditional tea house within a modernist house in Tokyo, Japan – shot for architect John Pawson

Tetsuka House – D てつか ほうせ 2002 \\\ Dusk at a modernist house in Tokyo Japan

The following pair of photos rank as our personal favorites, a diptyque of  Inagawa, a cemetery in rural japan designed by British Architect David Chipperfield. The two photos capture the same space first in the morning, then the evening, an example of the photographer’s sense of not only space, but time.

Inagawa 猪名川 (AM/PM)

“This image was taken in 2016 on a visit to the Neelam Cinema in Chandigarh India. I’d long heard there were 2 Corbusier designed cinemas but couldn’t find images of either. Indeed it wasn’t clear if they were actually still open. Over the years, it had become somewhat of a quest for me and was delighted finding the cinema was indeed still open.”

Most of Sumner’s prints are available in a variety of sizes, with additional subjects available at his website, direct from the photographer himself – an ideal gift for the architecture aficionado currently available ahead of the online holiday gift shopping season.

All photos with permission by Edmund Sumner.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at